Are there dinosaurs in space?
Thu, 12 Apr 2012 2:35p.m.
By Dan Satherley
If dinosaurs weren't wiped out by an asteroid impact 65 million years ago, could they have evolved human-level intelligence?
That's the question posed by Dr Ronald Breslow, the scientist behind new research which suggests life on Earth originated elsewhere in the universe.
So how does that relate to dinosaurs in space?
Well, if life on Earth shares a common ancestor with life on at least one other planet – and if life on that planet evolved in a similar manner to Earth, but didn't experience the same cataclysmic mass extinctions, Dr Breslow says it could today be ruled by a race of advanced dinosaurs with tens of millions of years of evolution and development behind them.
"Such life forms could well be advanced versions of dinosaurs, if mammals did not have the good fortune to have the dinosaurs wiped out by an asteroidal collision, as on Earth," says Dr Breslow.
The DNA and RNA of life on Earth is made up almost exclusively of "left-handed" amino acids and "right-handed" sugars, the same orientation of amino acids that Dr Breslow's evidence says were carried to a lifeless Earth by meteorites about 4 billion years ago .
Although it's possible for life to exist with the opposite orientation, aside from a few bacteria, none on Earth does – suggesting the building blocks of life travelled here from elsewhere in the universe, in a process known as 'panspermia'.
But just as quickly as Dr Breslow raises the prospect of making every 10-year-old boy's dreams come true, he pours cold water on the suggestion.
"Of course showing that [panspermia] could have happened this way is not the same as showing that it did."
As for the super-intelligent dinosaurs?
"We would be better off not meeting them," he says.
The Smithsonian's 'Dinosaur Tracking' blog ridicules the idea of extra-terrestrial dinosaurs.
"As much as I’m charmed by the idea of alien dinosaurs, Breslow’s conjecture makes my brain ache," writes Brian Switek.
"Our planet’s fossil record has intricately detailed the fact that evolution is not a linear march of progress from one predestined waypoint to another.
"Dinosaurs were never destined to be."
As Dr Breslow's dinosaur comments made up only two sentences of a scientific paper 16 pages long, there's the very real possibility he was just joking around.
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25/08/2012 10:45:10 p.m.
William Davington wrote:
In billions of planets , if there is a Planet of Dinosaurs like a Planet for our race - why not ?
Whoever can prove that there is no Planet of Dinosaurs in the vast Universe ?
Our knowledge is still limited to understand the Universe - Better learn more than criticize each other . Be wiser .
13/04/2012 7:17:46 p.m.
@keepcalm. I thank you for your comment. however, my comment was mainly in response to Breslows apparent new findings that life originated elsewhere in the Universe. various factors contributed to the extinction of the Dinosaur. for instance, the oxygen level was much higher than today. peaking at roughly 35% as compared to todays 21%. the global temperatures were much warmer and humid than today as the Poles were devoid of Ice. The super-continent of Pangaea was breaking apart. Dinosaurs were actually in the process of becoming extinct before the Asteroid impact in the Yucatan at the end of the Cretaceous period. Breslow is correct with inorganic matter originating elsewhere in the Universe. but at an organic level or life originating elsewhere, he is quite incorrect.
13/04/2012 3:56:24 a.m.
Bad, bad science wrote:
If in humor, then dull and uncreative...leave it to late-night TV. If in earnest, then sensationalist and silly.
12/04/2012 11:00:29 p.m.
Keep Calm wrote:
Calm down guys (Bad, bad science & Bruce), he’s not trying to disprove gravity, no need to get your panties in a twist. Besides I don’t think he was seriously arguing the point, just because he is a scientist doesn’t mean he isn’t entitled to a sense of humour; like the article said the “comments made up only two sentences of a scientific paper 16 pages long.”
12/04/2012 3:27:40 p.m.
Is this scientist for real? or is he a self proclaimed scientist?. Just because the evolutionary path on earth was consistent for the appearance of Dinosaurs between the Triassic to Cretaceous periods, does not demonstrate the same conditions would appear on another planet. The primordial atmosphere on earth 4 billion years ago was ideal for the "building blocks of life" being amino acids and nucleotides. Dr Breslow would be well to read the findings of Doctors Stanley Miller and Harold Urey, where through experimentation, they were able to replicate earths primordial atmosphere and produce the amino acids. Then Doctor Joan Oro, who was also able to replicate atmospheric conditions and produce the nucleotides. Both necessary for the start of life through pre-biotic chemistry. he also needs to study Abiogenesis, the study of life from inorganic matter.
12/04/2012 3:11:51 p.m.
The answer is NO. No, no, no. There are NO dinosaurs in space. This is bad science. If we find a dinosaur on another planet, I will eat my own feces. If we don't, and instead find life that is completely unrecognizable and alien, Dr Breslow should eat his own.
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